Town Belt Policy Review

19 July 2011

Wellingtonians have used and enjoyed the Town Belt in different ways for more than 100 years - now you can help us determine the best way to manage it in the future.

The Council's Parks and Gardens staff look after the Town Belt

The Council's Parks and Gardens staff look after the Town Belt

We're in the early stages of reviewing Town Belt Management Plan policies - which among other things set out what can and can't happen on the Town Belt. The first step was some market research and this year we've been working with groups with an interest in the Town Belt to come up with a set of draft principles.

Now we want to know what others who use, live near or appreciate these areas in other ways, think of these guiding principles so we can make sure community wishes and values are reflected in the Town Belt's day-to-day management.

We need your views by Friday 9 September.

The Council's Portfolio Leader for the Natural Environment, Councillor Helene Ritchie, says the Town Belt is hugely important to Wellington, providing the city's green backdrop, a peaceful haven, great places to walk, run and cycle, and numerous sporting facilities and parks.

The 387 hectare Town Belt includes Mount Victoria, Mount Albert, Newtown Park, the Hockey Stadium, the Berhampore Golf Course, Wakefield and Macalister parks, Central and Kelburn parks and Te Ahumairangi (Tinakori Hill).

"Environmentally, recreationally, historically and culturally, the Town Belt is one of the city's greatest assets and something many people are passionate about," she says.

"That's why we want as many Wellingtonians as possible to get involved and give us their thoughts."

We're not proposing changes to the way the Town Belt is governed. The 1873 Town Belt Deed will still be the key document and we will remain trustee of the land. We already work closely with iwi partners and are proposing that we manage the Town Belt in partnership with mana whenua in future.

Cr Ritchie says this is the norm now and reflects the Treaty of Waitangi, our ongoing relationship with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the importance we place on the Memorandum of Understanding we have with mana whenua.

"The Town Belt has a rich and diverse history and we believe the historical link that mana whenua has to this land has not been well acknowledged in the past," she says.

"One of the guiding principles we're proposing is that we take these significant historical and cultural values into account when we make future decisions about the Town Belt."

We're also proposing to enhance and protect the undeveloped qualities that make parts of the Town Belt special. At the same time, we recognise that the area was set aside for recreation and should continue to provide for a wide range of recreational activities.

More information is available from Wellington City libraries, by phoning (04) 499 4444 or go to:

Public Input - Town Belt Legislative and Policy Review

Wellington's Town Belt - Facebook website

We want your views on the following draft guiding principles:

  • There will always be a Town Belt in Wellington.
  • The Council will work in partnership with mana whenua to manage the Town Belt.
  • The Town Belt's natural character will be protected and enhanced.
  • The Town Belt is for all to enjoy.
  • The Town Belt will be used for a wide range of recreation activities.
  • Management of the Town Belt will acknowledge all historical and cultural links to the land.